Monday, June 13, 2005

What would I do without Cygwin...

I have recently moved from a linux desktop onto a windows desktop. When I first started on the linux desktop I missed the familiar functionality in the "dir /s" command. There was no direct equivalent in linux.

I subsequently overcame this so called difficiency by utilising "find . | grep xxx". I also got used to using tail and less as well as vi.

Now that I am on the windows desktop a minor adjustment was required. Fortunately, and this is a big one, cygwin came to my rescue and provided me with all those familiar commands available in my now beloved bash.

It boggles my mind to think how any self respecting software developer committed to excellence can suffer a desktop without something as simple as tail. What is your windows alternative? Notepad! Heaven forbid. There is no out of the box viewer on a windows platform which can monitor a file for changes and render those changes when they happen. Do the microsoft developers deem the facility useful enough? In linux (and cygwin) you have two options; 'tail' for monitoring a file and 'less' for doing both viewing and monitoring (the best of both worlds).

Those guys at Cygwin make my life on a windows platform bearable.

I salute them.

2 comments:

Peter said...

This is a source of constant irritation to me because so many Windows developers have no idea how to go to the "Command Prompt". You have to explain: go to Start, Run, type cmd, press enter. And then they're clueless how to use it. What the???

This is why unix should be compulsory at uni - in your Operating System or Networks course you should HAVE to use the unix shell, vi, gcc, make etc. It would make for much more well rounded developers.

mx said...

The people that are clueless on the command line stick out a mile when you see that they do not have the extensions activated in windows.